Ruffatti Organ is on pitch: 32.72 Hz - diyAudio
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Old 3rd July 2010, 09:33 PM   #1
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Default Ruffatti Organ is on pitch: 32.72 Hz

I know some of you engineering specialists need a break from spinning HornResponse on your PCs. So here's a result from a test of a Michael Murray recording of the Ruffatti Organ in Davies Symphony Hall, San Francisco.

Yup, my spectrum analyzer says it is about on pitch at 32.72 Hz, for the low note at the end of the Widor Sym #6, adagio movement. That would be a so-called "16 foot" pipe? Sure shakes the walls.

The other super low note seems to be around 62 Hz - betcha couldn't of guessed that.

I'm not sure what else might be on recordings but the Widor note is about the lowest I know of, pending checking through my collection a bit.

"Only down to 33 Hz?" you ask? (Actually bottom piano key is supposed to be same, except some weird Bosendorfer piano.)

My ancient AR-1W plays it really nice.
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Old 3rd July 2010, 09:39 PM   #2
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Kind of a raspy instrument. Try the Rieger organ at Ratzeburg Cathedral in Germany. Several recordings by Peter Hurford on that organ on London/Decca/Argo. Get to the 16 hz 32' stop used often on the Hindemith and Mendelsohn works. 32Hz is kid stuff.

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Old 3rd July 2010, 09:54 PM   #3
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Umm, spun the same adagio on the Grandes Orgues Cavaille-Coll at St. Germain-en-Laye and hardly any 32 Hz stuff at all. But sounded great with lots of 60+ stuff. Probably written for that kind of organ.

Anybody know?

Stratus46 - do you have evidence to think the Hz's are as you say on those recordings?

Yeah, concert halls rarely have decent organs. Big waste for St. Saens to have written an organ symphony... unless he did have some hall in mind.
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Old 3rd July 2010, 10:04 PM   #4
jbell is offline jbell  United States
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I'm guessing the ranks are set up for 'missing fundamental' so you think you are hearing C0 at 16hz but really only hear the C1 at 32hz.



quote:
3 PHENOMENON OF THE MISSING FUNDAMENTAL
The Phenomenon of the Missing Fundamental was discovered by pipe organ builders
during the 1700s. In the Middle Ages, large pipe organs installed in cathedrals used
pipes up to 40 feet long to generate really low frequencies that drew crowds to church
services to feel the bass, which helped generate emotion as they listened to spiritual
messages. Some pipe organ music composers found that they could trick the listener
into hearing low bass tones that weren’t really there if the played a certain combination
of notes that were higher than the low tone or “fundamental” that they wanted to be
heard. For example, if they wanted the listener to hear a low C then they could play a C
an octave higher and a G above that, and the low C would magically be heard in the
listener’s head. 2
The Phenomenon of the Missing Fundamental has also been studied and proven by
many distinguished audio scientists such as Helmholtz, who discovered how vented
ports and vents operate. The perceived pitch of a combination of tones spaced equally
in frequency is usually not that of the mean frequency, but rather that of the constant
difference frequency,3 which is the missing fundamental.
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Old 3rd July 2010, 10:26 PM   #5
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The 'missing fundamental' is kind of a sonic cheap and dirty trick. It's achieved as you say but a real 32' pipe though is way more impressive. The LP guys never got to hear it as LPs rarely have anything below 32 Hz. You run into mechanical resonance problems where some arm/cartridge combinations will skip. You DON'T want to make a disc that will be returned so the easiest solution is to simply not record below 32Hz.

CDs on the other hand are perfectly happy recording DC. The first 16Hz playback I heard was a fantastic improvement - and then no clicks/pops - and no wow and flutter - and no dropouts. Remind me again why anybody _wants_ vinyl.

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Old 3rd July 2010, 10:35 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bentoronto View Post
Umm, spun the same adagio on the Grandes Orgues Cavaille-Coll at St. Germain-en-Laye and hardly any 32 Hz stuff at all. But sounded great with lots of 60+ stuff. Probably written for that kind of organ.

Anybody know?

Stratus46 - do you have evidence to think the Hz's are as you say on those recordings?

Yeah, concert halls rarely have decent organs. Big waste for St. Saens to have written an organ symphony... unless he did have some hall in mind.
I don't 'think' its 17 Hz, I know it for a fact as I've done some classical recordings of organs that actually have 32' pipes. The AKG C-414 mics go about as low as you'd ever want and then lower than that to the point where I had issues with the air handling (heating and A/C) equipment that was putting in 'junk' down around 10-12 Hz. Filtering out the junk without damaging the 17Hz was done in CoolEdit Pro (though any CoolEdit/Audition can do it) using an FFT filter. It achieved -38dB at 12 Hz and -.5 dB at 16 Hz

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Old 3rd July 2010, 11:13 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bentoronto View Post
Yup, my spectrum analyzer says it is about on pitch at 32.72 Hz, for the low note at the end of the Widor Sym #6, adagio movement. That would be a so-called "16 foot" pipe? Sure shakes the walls.
I've been a pipe organ nut since childhood. 32Hz is about the bottom note for a 16' stop. 60Hz is 8' pitch. 16Hz is 32,' and 8Hz is 64.'

Some may be interested to know I have an old copy of Stereo Review with an article written by Ralph Hodges on this organ. He ran into a Cerwin-Vega subwoofer while touring it. The organ, at least back then, had some electronic stops in the pedal. I hate electronic stops, but some places they are needed either due to the sheer cost of an actual 32' rank or space concerns.

This August, the plan is for me to realize a dream in visiting Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City to see the world's largest organ. One of two in the world with an actual full length 64' stop (the other one is here). I cannot wait to see it. The plan is also to go see the #2 instrument at Macy's in Philadephia. Can't wait to see that one either.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jbell
Some pipe organ music composers found that they could trick the listener
into hearing low bass tones that weren’t really there if the played a certain combination
of notes that were higher than the low tone or “fundamental” that they wanted to be
heard. For example, if they wanted the listener to hear a low C then they could play a C
an octave higher and a G above that, and the low C would magically be heard in the
listener’s head.
Organ builders started using the idea as well in resultant stops, which can have any number of names. The organ plays the fifths for you. These stops are all over the place these days, usually at 32' pitch. The Crystal Cathedral organ has one at 64' pitch, where it plays 32' pipes in fifths. Not sure why they thought they needed it. All that glass, and they want 8Hz. I heard that organ in person in 1993. It was... uh... loud. Not very good, just loud.

Last edited by Oklahoma Wolf; 3rd July 2010 at 11:30 PM.
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Old 4th July 2010, 12:46 AM   #8
tb46 is offline tb46  United States
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Default Orgnas of the Dom in Cologne

Hi guys,

I hope this link still works:

Kölner Dom – Pipe Organ – Cologne Cathedral | Cologne For Men Reviews

In the end you need the room with the instrument.

Regards,
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Old 4th July 2010, 01:18 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tb46 View Post
In the end you need the room with the instrument.
Indeed - not long after I heard the Crystal Cathedral organ, I heard the one at the Mormon Tabernacle. Night and day difference. On the list of the world's largest organs, the Crystal's organ is #6 and the Tabernacle's is #12, but the room makes all the difference in the world.

And no electronic stops on the Tabernacle organ
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Old 4th July 2010, 03:27 AM   #10
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I think we are veering away from a very important question: anybody actually seen those recorded low frequencies show up on a spectrum analyzer? Piece of cake to test because those low notes are always sustained. Truth is revealed in seconds, clear as day on the screen, eh.

So, let's hear again from those who think they have some 16 Hz recordings, but this time after testing.

And provide some snippets for others to enjoy, please.
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